Arizona adult-use cannabis revenue tops $2.9 million, lottery picking up steam


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Within the first 10 days of launching, Arizona’s recreational cannabis market managed to harvest $2.9 million. This is based on official figures published by the state, which confirmed that tax revenue amounted to $226,355 during that time.

Recreational cannabis sales in Arizona started on January 22, following a license review process that saw 73 of 130 licenses gain approval from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Medical cannabis dispensary operators were the first to be offered a chance to apply for an adult-use cannabis license in Arizona, where a legal market has transpired just under three months since voters gave adult-use sales a big thumbs-up during the general election in November.

Analysts from Marijuana Business Daily foresee Arizona’s recreational cannabis market accruing between $375 million-$400 million within the initial full year of sales; catapulting to more than $700 million annually by 2024.

It should be noted that there is a delay in Arizona’s recreational sales data, since taxes are collected one month after transactions take place.

Arizona’s cannabis lottery is heating up

Hopeful cannabis business owners in Arizona have been eagerly awaiting the results of the license lottery, which costs a whopping $25,000 to enter. As many as 400 hopeful “cannapreneurs” lined up to enter Arizona’s cannabis lottery, which is expected to change the lives of just 13 lucky industry players. 

With just 13 vertically-integrated licenses up for grabs, it’s safe to say that the competition is fierce. By the deadline date of Tuesday, March 9, 377 competing applications had been received by the state Department of Health Services. This is according to a report published by the Arizona Republic.

A total of eight rural counties will be able to get their hands on permits. Those counties are Apache, Cochise, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Santa Cruz and Yuma. Currently, a date on which the licenses will be awarded has not been set. Nonetheless, a Health Services spokesperson divulged to reporters that the lottery is likely to commence “sometime in April” for counties that have less than two adult-use cannabis retail stores; e.g. Cochise, Graham and Yuma.

Arizona’s adult-use cannabis licenses will be worth millions

Industry officials have pinned the value of rural-area adult-use cannabis licenses in Arizona at around $5 million. Contrastingly, permits in urban centers like Phoenix are edging closer to the $20 million mark.

The state is also considering distributing 26 more licenses later in the year. Those licenses will be worked into the social equity program that was encapsulated within the legal framework of Proposition 207 — Arizona’s voter-approved initiative that led to adult-use cannabis legalization last year.